Don’t Spend Money on Marketing if Your Work isn’t Perfect
Too many times I run into clients, prospects, and acquaintances with the mindset that there is every day work, and there is marketing work. What I mean by that is they whip through the humdrum stuff of their job, but then when it comes to marketing they pour hours into every little detail. Now they never actually say any of this, but it’s very evident in the way they conduct business.
And it drives me crazy. To use an old cliché, they are cutting off the nose to spite the face. If you fall into this category, pay attention. Your work is part of your marketing!
Your Marketing Plan
Almost every business has some sort of marketing plan. Even those without a full-on plan have a marketing plan (through word-of-mouth, referrals, cold calling, or just hoping people pop in). Many have dedicated large amounts of time to the plan, and they have thrown a ton of money at their marketing.
This is great, you always need to spread the word about your business and what you have to offer to the community. In fact, it’s what my entire business revolves around: digital marketing.
But there is a big aspect of their plan that is left out completely. Their day-to-day operations need to reflect on them even better than their marketing attempts do.
Examples of Poor Marketing
If you take a look around, you will see exactly what I mean. But here are some that I see more often than not.
Mechanics – You see the ad with happy customers, a clean-cut mechanic telling you how you’re the best in the world and he does everything to make sure your vehicle is fixed to perfection.
Real Mechanics – Whip through the job, spend 20 minutes on a job that should have taken an hour to do right. Charge for an hour’s worth of work.
Auto Dealers – These are perhaps the worst, and fortunately most people know about it. You see ads, they claim great deals, and there are smiling happy people everywhere.
Real Auto Dealers – Car salesmen are called vultures for a reason. They lurk and as soon as you step out of your car 6 of them approach you to get you into the vehicle of your dreams (at double what you want to spend).
Internet Providers – They slap statistics up (A million megabytes per second!), show good looking people, talk about their amazingly low rates (with tiny subtext saying that it’s only good for the first hour and a half of service).
Real Internet Providers – You will never see the top speeds, likely you’ll only get about half of that or less. You get your bill and there’s that low rate, along with dozens of other charges. Calls give you the run-around and you end up frustrated.
I could keep going on, but you get the idea. Here is why poor service is such a terrible marketing mistake.
Why Your Work is Your Marketing
Years ago I needed a new washer and dryer set. I researched what was needed and eventually settled on a Kenmore Elite system (it had good reviews and was on sale). $1,600 or so later we had a new set in the house. Then it broke, and the customer service that Sears provided was less than satisfactory. You can read all about how Sears worked their way onto my blacklist to see the full story.
The point is that the marketing for the product worked (I came in to buy a washer and dryer set). But the customer service after the fact negated all those efforts. I told dozens of people how terrible the service was, and many friends thanked me because they were going to purchase something from Sears, but now decided to go elsewhere.
Word of mouth marketing works much better than any other form and it’s almost all based off how well you do your job.
But word of mouth isn’t exactly fair. Great service means a few people get told how great it is. Bad service means dozens of people are told how bad it is.
What You Should Do
Strive for perfection in everything you do, because when you miss you will still achieve excellence. Do the best possible job on everything so that there is no room for those negative reviews and bad word of mouth marketing. Because you can throw thousands or even millions of dollars at the best marketing campaigns, but if your work is crap, then nobody is going to buy what you’re selling.